"The definition of a hidden gem" - John Peel /
"The world seems finally to be catching up to Leslie Winer, whose startling intelligence and singular vision shine through her copious recording life." - Max Richter /
"She might just be the coolest woman on the planet!" - Boy George
"When I Hit You - You'll Feel It" is a 16-track anthology that celebrates the extraordinary work of musician, poet, and author, Leslie Winer.
The collection spans Winer's three-decade-long musical career: from her groundbreaking solo work in the early '90s to her latest inspired projects. Featuring musical contributions from Jon Hassell, Helen Terry, Jah Wobble, Renegade Soundwave's Karl Bonnie, and others, the collection also spotlights Winer's diverse collaborations, unearths previously-unreleased recordings and was newly remastered by the GRAMMY-nominated engineer John Baldwin. The album includes a new interview with Winer, captured by the compilation's co-producer, acclaimed author and critic Wyndham Wallace. Rounding out the package is an insightful essay by the award-winning writer and scholar Louis Chude-Sokei and an original cover collage by the renowned British photographer and artist, Linder, featuring photography by Mondino, and design by designer Christopher Shannon. Musician, poet, iconoclast, model, artist, enigma. Leslie Winer is many things. She grew up in Boston with a voracious appetite for music and the written word and embraced the city's lively jazz and folk scene in the '70s. Moving to New York for art school, she formed an unlikely friendship with writer and artist William S. Burroughs and lived on-and-off with Jean-Michel Basquiat. In London, where Winer began her musical ventures in earnest, she was a regular at Leigh Bowery's underground club Taboo, where she met many of her collaborators, including filmmaker John Maybury, Kevin Mooney (of Adam and the Ants), and Boy George. Winer's striking looks also attracted fashion designers and photographers. Throughout the early '80s, she was an in-demand model-appearing in campaigns for Valentino, Christian Dior, and Yohji Yamamoto, and serving as a muse for a young Jean-Paul Gaultier, who later dubbed Winer "the first androgynous model." She posed for Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, and Pierre et Gilles, and graced the covers of The Face, French and Italian editions of Vogue, and Mademoiselle. But music was Winer's true passion and, at the turn of the '90s, she would unknowingly help invent the massively popular genre known today as trip-hop. On her debut, Witch, Winer masterfully blended the uninhibited sampling of early hip-hop with dancehall basslines and programmed beats, while weaving mesmerizing - and coolly-detached - spoken-word vocals into her ambient tracks. It was unorthodox in the most delicious ways. While Witch was finished in 1990, it wouldn't be released for three years, due to the whims of Winer's label. By the time the album saw the light of day (released under the pseudonym "c"), trip-hop was gaining mainstream traction via acts like Portishead, Massive Attack, and Madonna. Although Winer eventually gained wider acknowledgment (prompting the NME to give her the dubious distinction of "The Grandmother of Trip-Hop"), Witch initially went sorely unnoticed. Winer continued to record, undeterred by the elusive nature of mainstream success in the modern music business. Her network of inspired collaborators continued to grow and expand, yet her influence remained largely a secret except to those in the know, such as Grace Jones and Sinead O'Connor, who would cover her songs. In the modern era, one is hard-pressed to find an artist who continues to push the creative envelope as much as Winer does. And yet, three decades after her revolutionary debut, her work remains just as startling and fresh.